Shane & I lived in Japan for 4 years (2006-2010) before the Air Force transfered us back to the US. Both of my girls were born there. Okinawa became our home away from home. Most of our friends are in Okinawa and have not been affected by the tsunami but we do have a few friends in mainland who are in the process of helping with the relief effort or are being evacuated. Reports are saying that all US Military are accounted for but thousands of people have died, are missing, or are now completely without anything. After experiencing a 7.0 earthquake in Okinawa last year not long after the Haiti earthquake, I know that we could have been in this situation at any time during our four year stay in Japan. My heart is breaking and I am brought to tears whenever I see pictures or video of the damage that occurred.

In February, after a tragic event that happened in our town (Minot, ND), a group of military spouses (who had never met in person) got together to support a cause we cared about by hosting an online auction. Because of that auction, we were able to donate $560.00 to the local Child Advocacy Center in memory of a baby boy who suffered long term child abuse and died on Valentine’s Day. Our group is called Minot AFB Artists & Crafters CARE. When I saw the Japan footage on the news, I immediately contacted the other admins of the CARE group to see if they would help me raise money to support the relief effort. They agreed and we will be hosting another online auction the beginning of April where all proceeds will go to the Red Cross towards the Japan Relief Effort!

During the first couple weeks of March, I hosted my Heart Treasures Boutique 1,000 Fan Giveaway on Facebook which we closed on the 17th. I posted the top 6 giveaway items that were fan favorites as a way of honoring the sponsors and the winners of those items. I decided to take that honor one step further for the number one fan favorite, Wickless Wonders, and contacted Lisa about hosting an Online Scentsy Party for my fans! Lisa and her family also happen to be stationed in Minot, ND but we have never met other than online! Lisa participated in our first CARE fundraiser so she has been getting our updates & information about our next auction for Japan. When I talked to Lisa, she told me some great news:


So, all of you Scentsy Lovers (and I know you are out there!) go to the following link & click on the “Red Cross Japan Relief” Party to place your order and support this great cause!!!


Feel free to share this with anyone who may be interested!

***Red Cross Japan Relief Party CLOSES on Friday-April 15th***

What Is Green And Has Three Leaves?


A Shamrock!

Why three leaves instead of the “lucky” four leaf clover? Clovers can have three, four, or more leaves. “Shamrock” is used only to describe the three leaf clover (although people often don’t realize that).

I think that it is  fun and exciting to celebrate holidays but, as a mother, I have been forced to consider how I feel about some holidays and traditions. I have read about the main holidays that we celebrate in the US. My husband and I have discussed them and compared traditions with our personal experiences and Christianity.

Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the holidays that has a Christian origin. I don’t claim to be all knowledgeable when it comes to history. But from what I have read; St. Patrick was actually from Britain. Before he was named “Patrick;” he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland to work as a slave. He eventually escaped captivity and returned to Britain. Later he joined a church and studied to become a priest (and taking the name Patrick). Eventually, he returned to Ireland; feeling called by God to convert the Irish from paganism to Christianity. He was successful in his task. It is said that most of Ireland was converted before his death. There is a legend that Patrick used the shamrock in order to describe the Trinity to the people of Ireland. Below is a cute Veggie Tales version of the St. Patrick’s Day story:

Veggie Tales–St. Patrick’s Day

Although Saint Patrick’s Day has become secularized; I think that it is important to teach my children where it came from (for me this applies to all holidays and traditions). Now I do that in the form of Veggie Tales; later it may be another way. At the same time; I need to understand that it is okay to have and follow traditions but, it is not okay if those traditions become the focus of what is important. Jesus reminded the Pharisees that they follow traditions to the letter but that did not make their hearts clean and pure.

Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. Luke 11:39-41 [To read theses verses in context; click here]

So, remembering that, I go back to enjoying the holiday!

For more information about holidays and Christian traditions; I recommend:

Holidays & Holy Days by: Susan E. Richardson


Prayer Requests (11)

The Bible says: “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:19-20

If God moves when 2 or 3 agree in prayer, I can only imagine what he can do when 500 or more agree! There are between 500-1,000+ people who visit my blog each month. A lot of them are regular visitors (daily or weekly).

I plan to post prayer requests and updates weekly on Sundays or Mondays. This blog is public; I will not include personal information such as birthdays, last names, etc. If you have a prayer request, update, and/or praise report that you would like added to the weekly post, please e-mail me by Saturdays via facebook or at:  hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com

If you would like to include a picture of the person we are praying for, please include it in your e-mail. I will put a “Heart Treasures” stamp on the picture before posting it.

Feel free to forward a link to this page to people who will join us in prayer.



Shannon: (Sam’s Mommy): is almost 30 weeks along in her pregnancy. She went to L & D and found out that her placenta is 30% abrupted. Please pray it does not get any worse and that the baby will stay in for as long as possible. She is now home and not having any complications right now. She has been advised to be on modified bed rest. She will be monitored weekly but if it gets worse she will have to get an emergency c-section. Please pray that she will have no further complications and that the doctors will have the wisdom to do what is best for both her and the baby.


Brad: (Sam’s Daddy): After being poked in the eye a few weeks ago, his eye is still healing and his vision may be permanently damaged in that eye. On top of that, he has lost feeling in his left leg and toes again (he has a bulging disk between L5 and S1 that he has been getting steroid shots for) and they are talking the possibility of surgery, though we first need to make sure his disc has not ruptured. Please pray for complete healing!


Lesley: (Greysen’s Mommy): she is grieving the loss of her grandmother. Please pray for comfort for her and her family.


Travis: He was born prematurely and was considered “A Failure to Thrive” with an enlarged liver, a small displaced stomach, and lung disease. He was also diagnosed with Pierre Robin Sequence, which is a birth condition involving a very small or set back lower jaw and cleft palate. The small lower jaw causes the tongue to be displaced back toward the throat, where it can fall back and obstruct the airway. As a result of this condition, Travis had a tracheotomy shortly after birth. The trach was removed at age 5, but the stoma remains open because of the small air way. He has undergone 5 mandibular distractions to lengthen his lower jaw and help open his airway. To this day he still tends to stop breathing when he sleeps and is in need of another mandibular distraction because of this. Pierre Robin and “bad teeth” seem to go hand in hand. Travis has very little enamel on his teeth. It has been a struggle for him to actually keep any of his teeth. No matter how hard we try he seems to continue to get infections and loose teeth. He is scheduled for dental surgery this month. The doctors have to make sure that he is infection free before he is able to go in for the mandibular distraction. The insurance will cover some of the cost for these surgeries, but the part that we will have to pay is pretty high. Travis was also born with a hearing loss. He has been in deaf/hard of hearing classrooms or has had an interpreter most of his school life. He has dreams of being able to hear and now that dream can become a reality! There is a surgery that can make hearing possible for Travis! It is called BAHA (or Bone Anchored Hearing Aid). Travis will never be able to hear without the help of a hearing aid / hearing system, but this will let him hear sound that he has never been able to hear before. The only problem is the insurance company will not cover any of this surgery and it is VERY expensive. Please pray that his family can raise the funds needed for his 3 upcoming surgeries. Also pray that the doctors will have the wisdom they need while performing the surgeries and he will recover quickly from them.


Japan: We lived in Okinawa, Japan from 2006-2010. Both our girls were born there and it became our home away from home. We are thankful that Okinawa was not harmed but Our hearts are breaking for the Japanese people that we have come to love. As we watch the devastating footage of Japan’s tragedy we still feel like we are watching home being destroyed. Please pray for the people of Japan who have lost loved ones and have to recover from this.



Sam: We are singing praises to God that Sam has stopped running a temperature every night, though she still gets one occasionally. The doctors are still uncertain of the cause of these fevers (as high as 105.1), though they will be doing a DMSA renal scan this Wednesday (the 2nd) to see if her kidneys are the culprit. When she was inpatient, her ultrasound, abdominal CT scan and her galium scan all pointed towards her kidneys, but her urine cultures and analysis all came back normal. Her stored iron level is still dangerously low and is actually decreasing rather than getting better, though she is receiving 400% of the daily recommended amount of iron each day. There is a question of whether she has celiac disease which could be contributing to her low iron level. The other main concern at this point is the regression in her gross motor skills. While walking, her legs (especially her left) give out, causing her to fall. She has fallen down our steps twice due to this issue. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors (she now sees six specialists along with the pediatrician), her therapists (she has occupational, physical and speech therapists, along with an early childhood interventionist), and  her parents to know what is best for her. Please pray for Sam’s complete healing!

Previous Requests: Has a new possible diagnosis is Primary CNS Vasculitis, or basically swelling of the blood vessels in her brain. Diagnosis procedures include CT San/MRI (doesn’t always show up), angiogram (catheter goes up starting in leg) or brain biopsy. Treatment consists of immuno-suppressants (form of chemotherapy). Sam’s MRI/MRA came back negative, so now they need to decide their next step… they may try a more natural diet and supplement type lifestyle. This 2 year old’s final diagnosis after being in the hospital for several days was meningoencephalitis (infection that affects the nervous system causing inflammation of the brain & meninges). She regressed about 6 months and has to relearn how to stand and walk. Had a lumbar puncture to check for white blood cells, to help determine if they need to look further into the vasculitis. She also had a bone marrow aspiration to check for leukemia since she is still extremely anemic & running fevers. Please pray for the doctor’s wisdom and for Sam’s complete healing!

Greysen: has had some seizures that were not controlled by his medicine. So they have been working on medicine adjustments.

Previous Requests: This 4 year old boy was diagnosed with epilepsy this past spring and was sent to AI Dupont to determine the exact type of epilepsy he had. During a scheduled MRI, an Oncologist found a “mass” in the back left portion of his brain and that it would require surgery. A few days later, his parents met with the neurosurgeon and received better news. He was fairly confident that the tumor was benign, and therefore surgery could be put off for a while. The tumor will be monitored for any sign of change or growth. The tumor is in a place that it can be removed, however, to remove the entire tumor, he most likely will lose coordination and fine motor skills on his left side. This can be regained through physical therapy. For this reason, Greysen’s parents hope that they can wait until he is a bit older before having to do surgery. They returned to AI Dupont last Friday for another MRI scan so that the surgeons can re-evaluate the brain tumor. They saw no significant change in the tumor so the current plan is to wait and re-evaluate in 6 months. Please pray for Greysen’s healing and the doctors wisdom as they monitor and treat his condition.


Heather: After flying to Hawaii, for a specialist appointment, she has returned home to Okinawa, Japan and will be able to deliver there. She is in her 35th week so baby can come anytime!

Previous Requests: She is now taking a pill in the morning, and a insulin shot before dinner and a insulin shot before bed. For the most part, sugars are regulated but are just a little too high so they are trying to figure out how much insulin is needed. Baby girl is getting bigger daily and more active! Also, the Fetal Eco determined that the baby has Pulmonary stenosis (narrowing in the artery in the heart). Please pray for both Heather and the baby as well as the rest of her family who will be affected by her traveling. Also, pray for the doctor’s wisdom in caring for them.


Carol: the stress test came back normal! Praise God!

Previous Request: Had chest pain and was told that it may have been a heart attack. She had her initial appointment with a cardiologist. Please pray for her complete healing and wisdom for the doctors who will need to determine a course of treatment for her.

Shane: My husband recently saw a new doctor about his Plantar Fasciitis. He now wears special shoes when he sleeps at night and has started physical therapy.

Previous Requests: My husband has a few career decisions to make in the next few months. He also has Plantar Fasciitis (irritation and swelling of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot) which could effect which direction he chooses. The choice he makes will effect where we live, how much we get paid, and how often he will be deployed. Please pray for wisdom and direction for our family.



Cher: Was recently diagnosed with Myastenia Gravis (a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the skeletal (voluntary) muscles of the body). Please pray for the doctor’s wisdom in creating a treatment plan. Also, pray that the housing they need would become available when they go for treatment. They have their name on a list for Nazarene Well House. On their already strained budget it would be a Godsend. Pray God will work out all the details!

Jenn: is pregnant with her second baby. She has jaw pain which is probably indicating that she will need her wisdom teeth pulled. The dentist determined that because of how the teeth are positioned, he will have to put her under to do the extractions. Unfortunately, because she is pregnant, they cannot do the surgery until her baby is born. This means waiting until June or later with the pain. Please pray for her healing and comfort.


Alysa (ME): I have 2 home businesses, Heart Treasures BoutiqueJuice Plus+, in order to bring in extra money for our family but I have not made many contacts for either one. It’s expensive to move back to the states! Please pray that God will bring the right people in my path so that we can earn the extra money that we need.


Do You Observe Lent? Why or Why Not?

I am fairly new to the whole Lent concept. I was introduced to it a year or so ago. Got Questions?org gives this definition of Lent:

“Lent is a period of fasting and repentance traditionally observed by Catholics and some Protestant denominations in preparation for Easter. The length of the Lenten fast was established in the 4th century as 40 days. During this time, participants eat sparingly or simply give up a particular food or habit. Ash Wednesday and Lent began as a way for Catholics to remind themselves to repent of their sins in a manner similar to how people in the Old Testament repented in sackcloth, ashes, and fasting (Esther 4:1-3Jeremiah 6:26Daniel 9:3Matthew 11:21).”

It is important to note that Lent or any other Christian tradition or act of faith is NOT required in order to receive God’s gift of salvation. For some people, the motives may be wrong or they will be doing it because they were told to. For me, it is a time of reflection and a time to remove something from my life that is hindering a closer relationship with God.

Two years ago, I gave up Starbucks coffee. That was my addiction and I was spending a lot of money which should have been going other places. Last year, I gave up Facebook gaming. At the time, we lived in Okinawa, Japan and Facebook was pretty much our only communication to anyone in the states so I did not give up social networking all together. But gaming was taking up a lot more of my time than what I was spending with God.

I am still praying about what to fast from this year.

This year my church is doing the Ashes to Fire study. I’m excited to do an actual study to go along with fasting. It will be interesting to see how God moves in our church over the next several weeks!


Do You Observe Lent?

Why or Why Not?